Sitting at my desk inside of the Amery Free Press, looking out at Keller Ave., I feel like I have come full circle.
I was born on a classic cold and blustery December day at Apple River Valley Memorial Hospital in Amery. I have an old piece of mail from the year of my birth that was a congratulations from the hospital and Doc Burns. The keepsake was addressed to “The Siegert Family RR2 Amery.” Rural Route 2 is now 115th Street and my husband and I purchased the property where I grew up.
My first friends were made in Amery, many I am still in contact with today. There is something about growing up together that forever bonds a small town girl and her cohorts.
I walked through the doors of the schools that shaped me in Amery. I can recall each and every one of the faculty members that taught me, and whether or not they were my favorite at the time, every single one of them made an impact on me that have carried through on this journey.
Some, but very few, of my teachers are still at the schools, making a difference in the lives of their students. Others have moved on into well-deserved retirements. A few unfortunately are no longer with us, like the late great Sherm Gronlund (one of my favorites) but the memories of being in their classrooms remain.
As a teen, my friends and I cruised this very same main street, stopping at “the tracks” on summer nights to figure out a game plan for excitement. We crossed our fingers to never get pulled over by Chief Holmes or his crew. These days it’s my old classmates, Officers Harris, Andren, Sykora and Elkin that the youngsters hope to sneak past.
I worked my first job in Amery (thanks to Dave and Rose Maus), and I spent my first paycheck in this town too. Money never lasted long in my friends’ pockets or mine, as we would dash down to El’s Outlet for the latest in fashion crazes.
Like many restless youth, I could not wait to make my escape. I wanted to see what was waiting for me outside of the city limit signs. After a handful of years of exploration, I came to the realization that there is only one place that calls you one of their own.
For me that place was Amery. My husband (who hailed to this great city all the way from New Richmond) and I love watching our kids start their journeys here. Our greatest hope is that no matter where life takes them, they never forget from where they came.
My ambition is that this position at the Free Press will allow me to give back to the town that throughout the years has given so much to me.
Many moons ago, I worked at the Amery Golf Course and Palmer Sondreal would always make time to chat before he hit the course. I remember thinking that he was pretty cool for an older guy and I could have listened to his stories about this town and the people that call it home forever.
I hope that someday I can tell a story half as great as Palmer. Through quality articles that are informative, interesting, and occasionally inspiring, my goal is to connect with readers.
Whether you are a reader that grew up roaming these same small town streets as I did, or someone who has had a journey that landed them into this community, I hope that you will see that I will work hard to report the area happenings to the best of my abilities and that you will find me to be approachable and reliable.
I am looking forward to the challenge of keeping up with the constantly changing environment that surrounds us, while never wandering too far away from things that have never changed. It is those things that truly make this place home.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com, write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery, WI. 54001 or I can be reached by phone at 715-268-8101